Roadless in Montana

  Dear HCN,


Montana's gallivanting Gov. Marc Racicot recently bellyached in Washington, D.C., about the administration's roadless initiative. Since his case had just been thrown out of court in Idaho, maybe he was seeking refuge with fellow anti-enviros inside the Beltway. Obviously, he's not listening to most of his constituents. Most Montanans, like the great majority of all Americans, embrace the roadless initiative much more eagerly than they do Racicot's shaky opposition to it.


A few days after our governor's hand-wringing display, his party members from Republicans for Environmental Protection gave powerful testimony promoting the roadless initiative in the name of conservation champion Theodore Roosevelt. The 32,900 miles of national forest roads just in Montana exceed the Earth's circumference. The 380,000 miles of national forest roads in the country exceeds the distance to the moon and halfway back. Since Racicot claims he doesn't know where the roadless areas are, maybe he's been camped on the moon with Rip Van Winkle? The areas have been inventoried for years. The Forest Service has the maps. They're even on the Internet.


Does our governor really want taxpayers to subsidize carving even more roads across our last best wild places like the Rocky Mountain Front? Shades of James Watt!


Gene Sentz
Choteau, Montana


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